A mountaineering team comprising of 34 army men is all set to take the Swachch Bharat mission to Mount Everest.
According to a Daily Mail report, the team is preparing for a journey on April 4 which marks the golden jubilee of the first Indian conquest of Mt Everest, aiming to clean the Everest slopes and bring down at least 4,000 kg of non-biodegradable waste to the base camp. Later some other groups of volunteers will move the garbage from the base camps.
“This is a very ambitious mission. The team will be split into two groups. One group will attempt to climb Mount Everest while the second will set out to scale Mount Lahotse, the fourth highest peak in the world. The team members will also participate in the extreme high-altitude marathon in the Himalayas,” according to Indian Army sources.
Indian Army team which has been under professional training for the last few months, aims to clean the Everest in 30 days.
In the last 50 years, the slopes of Everest have been junked with old cylinders, tents, tins, packets, equipment and other mountaineering waste.
“Sadly, Mount Everest is now also called the world’s highest junkyard... We will target the mountaineering waste from Camp 1 (19,695 feet) to the summit (29,028 feet). Apart from our own haversacks weighing 10 kg each, we intend to bring in another 10 kg each on the trip,” Daily Mail quoted Major Ranveer Singh Jamval as saying.
In an attempt to keep the highest peak of the world clean, Nepalese tourism authorities had sent out a guideline in 2014 saying that the climbers must bring down eight kilos of trash while returning, reports NBC News .
An Eco-Everest clean-up expedition, led by Dawa Steven Sherpa annually since 2008, reportedly brought down 15,000 kg of trash. No figures are however available to indicate the amount of garbage that still exists.